Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,2 Peter 1:5(NASB)
The urgency of Peter's message in his second epistle is that the Christian's life, which begins with faith, must grow and develop into Christian maturity and produce spiritual fruit which is so honouring to the Father.
As believers, we are not left on our own to forge through our Christian life blindly, depending on our own personal potential, business acumen, innate abilities, or educational excellence, for to do so would cause us to become shipwrecked: "Without Me, ye can do nothing." However, in His grace God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His glory and virtue.
As believers who have escaped the corruption that is in the world by faith in Christ, we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, through which we may be partakers of Christ's divine nature. This tremendous privilege is ours by grace through faith in Him, but we have to access this divine birthright by choice.
At salvation, our new birth was the start of our spiritual journey and not the end. At salvation, we attained access to all that we need to increasingly become more Christ-like and to develop those godly qualities that are so honouring to the Lord. And for our part, we are required to diligently apply in our daily life, all that have been given us in Him.
Our spiritual maturity is not an automatic consequence of our spiritual birth, but requires diligence and discipline on a daily basis so that we become doers of the Word and not hearers only. BUT we are never to forget that our strength is not of ourselves, lest we should boast. Our strength is to be found in Christ alone.
We are to work out our own salvation (our sanctification) through a dedicated study and application of God's Word. We are to die to all that is of self and to live our life for Christ alone. We are to break free from all that comes from the old life that was dead in trespasses, sins, and in bondage to Satan, and walk in newness of Christ's indwelling life in spirit and in truth, as we depend totally upon God and are fully equipped by His Holy Spirit.
And so the urgency of Peter's message in his second epistle is that our Christian life, which began at the point of saving faith, must become a growing, developing, and sanctifying faith. This faith matures by means of diligent application of God principles of spiritual growth, which are contained in His Word, and all of which produce spiritual fruit which is so honouring to our Father in heaven.
Having been saved by grace through faith, it is only as we live by grace through faith and earnestly press on to the goal of our high calling in Christ, with diligence, dedication, and discipline, that we are empowered to grow in grace and in moral excellence. And as we pursue the goal of our calling, it is only as we appropriate what is ours in Christ and zealously apply it to our everyday lives that we grow in our knowledge of Christ, becoming self-controlled, patient, godly, gentle, good, and kind, and Christ-like.
Heavenly Father, I am so blessed to be saved by grace through faith in Christ. I desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, to grow in grace, and to produce spiritual fruit that is honouring to You. Help me to be diligent and disciplined in my Christian walk, not relying on my own abilities and excellence, but trusting in You and the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that in His power, I may become the person You desire me to be. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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